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September 23, 2011

I have a tradition, started when I was fifteen and continued faithfully in all the years since, of celebrating the season changes, the equinoxes and solstices. It started as something in a story, something the Kivailo (then, a relatively new addition to the plethora of made-up peoples ‘living’ in my head) did. I thought it was a good idea, especially the cleaning part: every three months, in the days leading up to a solstice or equinox (or Sirhoy, meaning ‘high holiday’ in the Kivailo language) everything was to be cleaned. It was easy enough to do this while I was still a kid, still at school, still living in my parents’ house, still only responsible for one single room. I had time, four times a year, to wipe down all the bookcases, empty, wipe and organize every one of my numerous desk drawers…

It’s no longer so easy now, but I continue to do it. I may have to cut corners – ignore the messy drawers, the hallway closet, the spills in the fridge, not do the laundry, and pretend there isn’t an overflowing cardboard box in my living room. But I still vacuum all the corners I don’t usually crawl into, clean the kitchen and bathroom, mop the floors, wash the windows, and this time I even cleaned the bookcases.

I like to start the new season this way, with everything feeling neat, fresh and clean. I like to put one part of the year, and whatever happened in it, behind me and start over, and a ritual like this helps.

And then, on the Sirhoy itself, the actual celebration.

I’m not a Kivailo, I don’t have a Daenay priest to lead a ceremony, and anyway I don’t believe in my made-up gods. But again, I think, it is a good tradition to sit down and think about the things in the past season that I’m grateful for in, and the things that went “wrong” and what I can learn from them – never about “regrets”, never “woulda-coulda-shoulda”. Just accepting what happened and looking for a lesson to learn from it, a way to do it differently if I am in a similar situation again. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it doesn’t, but I think it’s helped to give me a more positive attitude. And also to think about the things I plan and hope for the new season, to think about how to make them happen.

Autumn at the Teeny Tiny Village Nursery

There’s much to be grateful for, this Sirhoy.

I’ve seen little of my family this past summer, but when we met, we got along well – better than we sometimes do.

My best friend, wonderful as always, weekends full of story-chatter, forest hikes, and, most importantly, effortless understanding – we’ve known each other so long, we like the same things, think the same things, say the same things – it happens so often that one of us says something, and the other says, “Hey, I just wanted to say exactly that!” So easy to talk to her…

Talking to my friend Pink is harder, because we haven’t known each other that long, but I’m still grateful for her, grateful to her, for having the idea for the Italy trip, and for going through with it.

Grateful for the Italy trip itself, the adventures we had and the experiences we gained, and the confidence that, yes, I can travel by myself.

Grateful for my job.

Grateful for my “garden”.

Grateful for all the free food I’ve gotten, all the fruit from Mrs T. and my granny, free vegetables from my bosses.

Grateful for the fun we had in the Netherlands, and grateful for the friends I’ve made online. Grateful to have understood something: For years, I was jealous of the group of friends my parents have, where everyone knows everyone else, getting together for parties, or just visiting – they were pretty much like a couple of extra uncles and aunts to me, growing up. I wanted that too, but didn’t know how to make it happen. And in the last few months, I realized: I do have that. The small difference being that I met those friends online!

Grateful for the summer, which I’ve finally learned to enjoy after years of just whining about the heat – taking every chance for a trip to the lake, even if I only got to spend an hour or two there, deciding not to regret the money spent on ice cream…

And now, on into autumn? What will it bring?

More weeks of work than last year, more money, less time to rest, but then again, I won’t feel like I have to find a temporary job for the winter months. Another NaNoWriMo, a story I’m beginning to feel more excited about. Trying, once again, to spend less time holed up at home. Trying, once again, to catch up with the many blog posts I mean to write.

And, hopefully, many more apple pies like the one that’s just in my oven!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2011 19:11

    One should NEVER regret money spent on ice cream.

    • September 24, 2011 21:04

      I go through these phases where I want to save every cent for my hypothetical future garden. 😉 Having been rather short on money last winter certainly didn’t help with my penny-pinching habits.


  1. Harvest Monday – September 26, 2011 « Letters & Leaves

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